Yezidis must be in charge of their destiny and that comes from economic and political power.
August 3rd, 2014 was a black day for the Yezidis. On that day ISIS descended upon the Yezidi villages and killed 10,000 Yezidi men, took 7000 Yezidi women as sex slaves. 3000 Yezidi women are yet to be recovered. Some have been taken away to far-flung places as Pakistan and still to come back. This was also the beginning of the 74th Yezidi genocide. This genocide was worse than any other Yezidi genocides in history. It uprooted my people, threw the entire Yezidi population into the streets.
The world still doesn’t know about my people. We are the most ancient people in Iraq. We are the descendants of the Sumerians and our ancestors gave birth to civilization in the middle east. We believe in Reincarnation and hold reverence for nature, something not seen or practiced in the middle east. We believe we are the children of the Sun and pray towards the Sun every day for all of Humanity. We pride ourselves over women rights and gender equality, unlike the rest of the middle east.
Yezidis need the Hindu world behind them and participation of the Indian government in the trial against ISIS and for the rebuilding of the Yezidi homeland.
But we are also not Muslims and that angers all our neighbors resulting in 74 genocides in the last 1400 years. This despite the fact that we pray for all of Humanity always. In the last genocide, ISIS foreign invaders could identify and kill the Yezidis because neighbors helped. Those neighbors were Arabs, Kurds, Sunnis and Shias, everyone non-Yezidi in the neighborhood.
Since 2014, only a few groups have reached out to the Yezidis with help. Hindus, in particular, have done so. Hindu Gurus like Mohan Bhagwat Ji and Sri Sri Ravishankar and their followers globally have reached out to help the Yezidis. Hindu faith-based organizations like Sewa International did a fantastic effort to help as a family. Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankar talked to world leaders and arranged an airdrop of live-saving food supplies where thousands of Yezidis were trapped, surrounded by ISIS. And this not because Yezidis share with the Hindus many ancient beliefs, but also because Hindus themselves have suffered similar atrocities in history by the same forces.
If we look back into history we see that Hindus were driven out of Kashmir, were divided and today in Pakistan there are only a few Hindus left, less than 1% of the population. Hindu Sindhis are almost gone, Hindu Punjabis had to leave Pakistan completely, Hindus in Bangladesh, 10 million made refugees in India and 50 million are missing. 400 million Hindus have suffered in history under brutal Islamic rule. And fanatics are still killing and terrorizing the Hindus in India under the banner of ideologies similar to ISIS.
When the Yezidi delegation visited India in 2015, the then Foreign Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj said, “My heart bleeds for the Yezidis”. When another delegation visited India in 2018, Hindus in Prime Television wept with us as we narrated our horrors.
No nation, no people can come back without justice being done to her perpetrators. Same for the Yezidis. One billion Hindus around the world want the Yezidis to survive and come back. Many are willing to help but don’t know how to support. I have started a global case against ISIS and their supporters to give justice to my people. This also includes taking nations like Pakistan to the task. It has been taken up by the International Court of Justice. I call for the support of the Hindu world to help the case. Also, a team of investigators needs to get into Pakistan to locate our lost daughters. We need India’s help in this matter.
In recent days, Sweden has also set up a tribunal, a commission of inquiry against atrocities committed by ISIS. The rest of the Western World may also join. But the pain of the Yezidis lies deeper. Only if India joins, Yezidis will find the pillar of strength to bring out the pain and closure to the genocide. It will be trying not just for the sake of the Yezidi victims but also representing millions of Hindu victims of the past and present as well. India must participate in the same tribunal or set up a tribunal on its own. While Pakistan targets India by killing her soldiers, it targets the Yezidis by sending ISIS henchmen who are citizens of Pakistan. We need India’s help to stop Pakistan from killing our people.
Since the 74th genocide in 2014, Yezidis are far from being safe. Recently there was a massive fire to crops, set up by ISIS supporters in Syria and Iraq. 20,000 acres of wheat and barley has been destroyed. Further 134,000 have been targeted. No food will lead to starvation. Also, many Yezidis cannot enter their home as they were booby-trapped by ISIS. Most are living in camps where there is little hygiene and hope. We need help to rebuild our lives. Lives lost, temples destroyed, all hopes lost. Yezidis need India’s help in these dark days of our 7000 yr old history more than ever before.
A political solution to the Yezidi crisis is perhaps the brightest hope. Yezidis must be in charge of their destiny and that comes from economic and political power. Within the ambit of the Iraqi nation, Yezidis crave for an autonomous region of Ezdikhan where oil resources are owned by Yezidis themselves, where policing is done by the Yezidis. Where all citizens have equal status and none are persecuted because of their faith. Since the last three years, we are working to establish an autonomous Yezidi region in Iraq, as an ancient indigenous people under UN mandate. We plan elections in this regard soon and framing of the constitution for the autonomous council. I call upon the Indian government and the Hindus worldwide to support this effort. I also call upon Indian companies to come and invest in Yezidi majority areas. This will help both ancient people.
Yezidis across the world are overjoyed with the re-election of Prime Minister Modi. He has also advocated for an end to organized state-sponsored terrorism. Yezidis are victims of such organized terrorism and the worst genocide in the 21st century. Yezidis need the Hindu world behind them and participation of the Indian government in the trial against ISIS and for the rebuilding of the Yezidi homeland. Through this letter, I strongly and fervently appeal to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Jaishankar for help. That would be the strongest statement made against any fanatical group which sees Hindus, Yezidis and anyone vulnerable in the world as easy prey. It will show that the world is one against organized terrorism.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.